Event Recap: K-12 Restorative Justice Practices Leadership Institute

The Center for Urban Resilience Restorative Justice Project (CURes RJ Project) is proud to report the successes and milestones achieved after hosting our inaugural K-12 Restorative Justice Practices Leadership Institute, held from July 17 – July 21, 2023. Our facilitators organized and led this immersive experience with the goal of providing K-12 educators and faculty in leadership positions with a deeper understanding of how to align and apply concepts of restorative practices within their roles. The training team consisted of practitioners Marisol Quevedo Rerucha, Anthony Ceja, Lori DeCarlo, and Jenny Winkler, who presented the group with the integral research, experience, and knowledge gained from years in the academic study and implementation of restorative justice practices.

At the CURes RJ Project, our vision is to impact systemic education reform and transform social structures towards a more just society. Organizing this event is pivotal to this vision, as we believe strongly in the power of restorative practices and its principles that emphasize how positive relationships are central to building community. By creating a safe space for academic leaders to see the value in a restorative culture, we were able to cultivate extensive discussions we think contributed to the growth of a supportive community bent on transforming schools with the same goal of achieving a healthier, happier, compassion-based society.

This training offered important lessons on the history, implementation, and significance of restorative practices in an educational capacity with relatable topics and matters that academic professionals regularly face. Our facilitators demonstrated how to communicate the restorative message, how to be an empowering versus an oppressive leader, how to encourage the restorative vision with parents and caregivers, and how to model restorative practices within their school culture in a way that promotes and strengthens its implementation long-term.

Not only did academic leaders gain valuable knowledge on how to promote systemic transformation within their own roles, but they also participated in restorative circles and community activities that offered personal growth and the chance to cultivate a restorative network with others.

We are pleased to report the resoundingly positive testimonials from post-event evaluations, demonstrative of the positive effects and significant impact that the K-12 Restorative Justice Practices Leadership institute had on our participants. Below are some highlights from participant testimonials:

The CURes RJ Project is proud to have the opportunity to work with such a diverse, engaged group of academic leaders implementing restorative practices at their schools. The connections made and lessons learned created an impactful network of support that motivated all participants to make continuous strides towards a restorative culture in community with one another.

For more information about future trainings, please contact: cures@lmu.edu.